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    COACH_NICOLE   71,928
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Take the “work” out of working out

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


My boyfriend was telling me a story recently. A small group of his company’s European investors were visiting the states for some meetings. The investors specifically requested a hotel that was one-hour walking distance away from the conference center where their meetings were taking place.

When they talked to the concierge to get directions to the conference center he said, "You can't walk there! It's at least an hour away!"

Well, that was the whole point of course. They were accustomed to walking each day and didn’t want to give it up, even if just for a few days. It was a part of their lifestyle and they enjoyed it. Not only that, but a couple hours or walking each day helped them stay healthy and fit.

It's just funny how different our mindsets are here in America compared to other nations where walking, biking and the like are commonplace things that people not only do on a daily basis, but also enjoy! What we consider “exercise” is viewed very differently by different cultures. A friend I met in college was from Holland. She’d talk about how people of all ages would ride their bikes everywhere as transportation—in rain or shine, in suits and dresses, short distances and long.

As much as many of us dread working out, when you move with purpose, your mindset about that activity just might change.

In fact, for the last year or so, I’ve been contemplating riding my bike to work. Part of what is appealing about that (besides saving money on gas) is that biking to work automatically increases my physical activity for the day so that I have less “exercise” on my schedule when the work day is over. Not to mention it’s a great way to start your day and just enjoy more time outdoors—that’s a perk for people like me who spend their days in an office. Better yet, I welcome activities that force me to slow down a bit. As much as we rush from here to there, having to take the longer, slower route can be good for a change--and not just for your mind.

My point here is that there are lots of things you can do to move with purpose that don’t have to be boring or dreadful like walking on a treadmill (sorry, but that’s just boring to me!). Many times, just getting outside of the gym (or house or office) allows you to combine fitness with other things like errands so you can do two things at once. Thing about ways that you can add a little “people power” (walking, biking, or even jogging) to your day:

  1. Your commute to work. If that’s not feasible, why not drive just part way and use “people power” to commute the rest of the way in. You’ll automatically be adding more fitness to your day, without going out of your way to do it. Start by parking a couple blocks away, and gradually increase the distance from your car to your office.
  2. Spend a few minutes gardening or doing yard work each morning or evening.
  3. Walk your dog around the block instead of just letting him out in the yard.
  4. Take dance lessons. As you’re getting active, you’ll learn a fun skill while meeting new people (and spending quality time with your partner).
  5. Carry a basket at the grocery store instead of pushing a cart.
  6. Spend 10-15 minutes “power cleaning” your house each night. Straighten up and put things away as quickly as possible. You’ll actively increase your heart rate and tidy up at the same time.
  7. Wash your car by hand. Forget the drive through car wash. Spring is perfect for this!


So how do you move with purpose? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Check out these articles for more ideas:
www.sparkpeople.c
om/resource/fitness_articl
es.asp?id=463

www.sparkpeople.c
om/resource/motivation_art
icles.asp?id=807

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANNIEDID 5/13/2008 4:40PM

    I walk home from work everyday. Most people are shocked to learn that I walk "that far". Actually it is just over 2 miles and only takes about 30 minutes. My "commute" is less than that of many of my co-workers!

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PASSIONATETIGER 5/12/2008 12:50PM

    I was also in NYC last weekend and looking forward to walking around but I hosted a Portuguese woman who did not want to walk. I wound up doing none and missed a natural outlet to feed my mental, physical and spiritual needs as well as social! It is so much better than a treadmill facing a wall or tv!!! Thanks for the article. I get lazier the less I do. It's time to stop putting other's needs before mine. It's waaaay past time.
emoticon p tiger

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AMELIAHALL 5/11/2008 12:18PM

    I was visiting NYC recently, and a lot of my friends were loathe to walk a little farther to the next subway stop. It's a great city to walk in, but only if you don't give in to the convenience of taxis and close subway stops.

A year ago, I gave up my car. I did it because I was pretty sure I wouldn't need it after I moved, and also it seemed silly to try and move with two cars (my boyfriends and mine). I never predicted gas would be this expensive just a year later, but it makes me ever more glad I gave the car up. I ride a minimum of 40-45 minutes per day just getting to work and back, but I love it. Exercise is much more fun when it is just part of your life.

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MOLYNNMCC 5/11/2008 8:23AM

    It's not really that feasable for me to walk to town for class but what I do is I choose the farther bus stop to catch the bus that takes me to a farther bus stop from my classes (total extra walking is about 20minutes); I also choose to stand on the bus rather than sit... not to mention choosing the stairs over the escalator. And then I do the whole thing coming home again. Not much, but it's something. emoticon

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DADD999STEVE 4/30/2008 5:19PM

    Good ideas... I also always take the stairs instead of of escalators or elevators if possible. I park far away at the stores (partly because I don't want door dings and I also need the exercise)...

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JODENEMARIE 4/28/2008 11:13PM

    My goodness. This is so true. To clean house, I put on my fanny pack with my little CD player in it. Put on my head phones and "boogie' while I clean.
I live in a duplex and my neighbor asked me today, if I was alright. She said it sounded like I was moving furniture and slamming doors.
I apologized, commenting I had earphones on, I was cleaning house and burning calories.
No problem. She just wanted to make sure I was alright.
Just remember, "You CAN do it!"
emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/28/2008 11:14:43 PM

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TOOLOU 4/28/2008 8:36PM

    I am new also to SP. But, so far i am loving it, I am tracking and very aware of wha I put into my mouth. I have been to the Strength training and It is amazing to realize or should I say feel, what muscles that you don't use. I have been trying to walk everyother day. I will drop my son off at the soccer field and off I go for an hour walk while he is practicing. I also, love the power cleaning. It is suppose to rain tomorrow so I am going to do that in the morning and then do laundry which means carrying it down to the basement and then bringing it back up. Thanks, for the site and all the helpful hints. I also weigh in tomorrow AM, I hope that it has been a good week. I feel it has! emoticon

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SARGE49 4/17/2008 2:13PM

    Just last night I delivered my daughter's bike to her apartment. I knew my wife was stopping there after work so I rode it over there instead of throwing it in her truck when she was at our house earlier. What a workout, it's been a while for me on a bike. emoticon

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SHELLGUZMAN 4/16/2008 5:14PM

    Howdy there! I love your pilates exercises. Is there going to be a printable version of today's feature? It's the butt,thigh, hip exercises. And have a question about coffee. I've been drinking half to a whole pot of coffee every day for about 20 years. I'd like to stop. Is de-caf better than regular? I don't drink pop or any other caffeinated beverages. I love my coffee though! Please tell me de-caf is ok!! Thanks.. emoticon

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LPJEMS 4/16/2008 6:35AM

    This sounds lovely I love bread but have searched the net to find it in the UK with no luck or anything remotely the same? Anyone found anything in the UK? Please let me know.

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LYNN2110 4/14/2008 9:50PM

    I like this blog. I'll be doing some of these things starting tomorrow. I found out last week that just being more active works for me. Plus eating less and eating more heathy foods. Thank you for the suggestions. emoticon

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JLC0815 4/10/2008 10:54AM

  Thanks for this post! This takes me back to my study abroad in Rome, Italy, where walking is what you HAVE to do to get anywhere on time! My roommates and I walked 30 minutes to school and 30 minutes back every day. We also walked eveyrwhere else since public transportation there is extremely unreliable! Anyhow, we really do take advantage of such minute opportunities to stay active during the day in this country! I lost nearly 15 pounds the 4 months I was there (and could have lost more had the pasta and pizza not been so delicious)!
I'm going to make it a goal of mine to be more active... starting by parking in the furthest parking lot of my office building!!

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AMBER921 4/10/2008 9:44AM

    Thanks for the mindset tips. I already do the power cleaning after work every day, because I know once my rear hits the sofa--that's it! I liked the gardening tip because that will decrease the amount of time I have to give up doing it on weekends, and it will add in exercise points. If I had a shower at work, I'd love to park far away or ride a bike, but body odor is NOT something I'd want to impose on my coworkers! :)

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~~JACQUELINE~~ 4/9/2008 9:37AM

    I love the power cleaning idea, and you're right - it takes a lot more effort lugging a basket round the store...........especially when (like me) you tend to pick up more than is on your list!!!! oops.....weight lifting anyone??

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GRAMMAP1 4/8/2008 11:53PM

    When we were in language study at the University of Lyon (France) we often walked the two miles to school. And we walked back home that evening. We both lost weight; I lost 14# the 9 weeks we were there. It invigorated us and prepared us for 6 hours of French Class daily. Usually we walked several blocks to a Restaurant and enjoyed all the little shops on the way. It certainly took the work out of workout
!

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BEBELOU 4/8/2008 11:10PM

    This was helpful. Thanks!

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_RANDY_ 4/8/2008 10:16PM

    wonderful suggestions!!!!

Randy

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COLEMANSR 4/8/2008 8:35PM

    Thanks for writing this article. It brought back memories when I lived and work in Japan. Every Morning before work, we exercise as a group and every evening before going home. Wouldn't it be nice if All America did that.
I think I pretty much have it down now, My exercise routine. Up and at the treadmill or the track at 4:00 am. 10:30 to 11:30 Gym Machines(varies)from day to day. But the best is the classes at the Y. They really push me to the limits. I'm sore every night when finished by smiling.

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DDOORN 4/8/2008 8:33PM

    Just LOVE this idea and have SO regretted living 12 miles from work. Guess I'll have to get revving up on my bicycle...lol!

Don

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CARLI_MAE 4/8/2008 6:57PM

    Amen! Did you ever get the email of a group of photos all beginning with the caption "Only In ...?" The one that was titled "Only in the U.S." had a picture of people entering a gym using the escalator instead of the stairs! Duh!!! When I saw it I couldn't help but laugh ... pay money for a gym, then ignore what's FREE right in front of you!

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AOIFE49 4/8/2008 6:19PM

  I am super lazy , and hate the gym .... hate hate hate the gym ... For the last few months i've been walking in and out to work every day . it takes 90 Min's a day round trip . It wakes me up in the morning , and i get some excerise .. i'd recommend this to anyone as it really doesn't feel like excersise !!!!!

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MRS_TOAD 4/8/2008 5:29PM

    I was surprised just how difficult it can be to carry a basket in the food store instead of pushing a cart. Likewise, carrying all the bags to the car. (Expecially when a food store "helper" in the lot is offering his help as he sees me gasping for air.) :)

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GFNOMAD 4/8/2008 5:28PM

    How true. And that is why I lose weight when I travel. I'm a news junkie and watch several TV news programs a day (local, national and international) so instead of sitting in a chair, I watch them while riding my air cycle with a load and between 29 and 35 mph.
Sorry Jen, it can be very windy where I live and I hate walking in the wind and rain. I find it miserable. However, I do patronize my small local stores and walk between them all. I often see the youngest, most muscular men/women searching for the parking stall closest to the entrance, even parking in the handicap zone. It always amazes me.

Comment edited on: 4/8/2008 5:31:57 PM

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 4/8/2008 5:26PM

    I just love that phrase - "move with purpose"!

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DANICA68 4/8/2008 5:16PM

    I am a night person so i do alot of moving at night. The part about cleaning up quickly is me. Its actually quit funny. I get going and I'm running around like a little worker bee. Oh buy the way I make lots of messes during the day on making crafts. Gotta keep busy. Have a great day.

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SKINNYNANNY 4/8/2008 5:14PM

    love all these ideas! thanks for the boost.
I recently went to Canada for Spring Break. those are the healthiest ppl I have ever seen. They walk every where, and everyone is out jogging on their lunch break, after work, early, late, it doesnt matter. There are great transportation systems there too. We walked everywhere while we were there. We were in Calgary and we could get to everything from our hotel, the park, the store, the theatre, the mall. I think I walked 6 hours one day, our goal, to get a loaf of bread. Of course the weather is beautiful, and it was refreshingly chilly, but I loved it. I got tired as soon as I got back to TX and did nothing. I really did feel better while I was getting more exercise every day. So it made a believer out of me!
I am going to make some changes. Won't ride my bike to work though , cause I have to cross and ride on a fwy. too many crazy drivers around here for me to feel good about that.
I will try the other things though. And they did all look VERY fit and HAPPY!
skinnynanny

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